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Head, Heart, Hand

John Brown Sr.'s Educational Philosophy

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Education at John Brown University has never been merely academic. John Brown Sr., founder and first president of the institution, was committed to a well-rounded philosophy of studies that focused on the holistic development of students.

"Emphasis should be placed equally on the head, heart and hands," Brown said. "If we neglect any of these in our teaching, the result will be an unbalanced person."

Brown believed that America's higher education was greatly unbalanced. Instead of pure book learning, the founder sought a form of scholarship that also involved practical skill and spiritual instruction.

In the early days of the University, it consisted of three colleges: Siloam Springs School of the Bible, John E. Brown Vocational College and John E. Brown College. Students were expected to work four hours five days a week learning a practical skill in addition to their four hours of classes six days weekly. In addition, they were required to choose an academic major, such as business, art or science and attend church and Bible classes.

The John Brown University coat of arms captures Brown's vision for the threefold education of head, heart and hand with Christ over all.

Through the decades, John Brown University's commitment to the foundational head, heart and hand philosophy has not wavered. Daily, as students learn from professors, grow spiritually in chapel and Bible classes, and carry out practicum assignments, they uphold the validity of the motto that John Brown Sr. envisioned over 80 years ago.